The London Semester

Week 1: Up Close

“Everything’s uglier up close.” — Margo Roth Spiegelman, from John Green’s Paper TownsNearly two weeks ago, on a Tuesday, I entered Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, with a green hiking backpack heavy on my shoulders and my then-boyfriend rolling my enormous duffle bag behind him. When I got in line for security and looked back, my then-ex-boyfriend waved and disappeared down the escalators. So I tried not to cry, called my mom, and moved on to the scanners and metal detectors. ...

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Week 2: From Inside the Flat

The first British person I really met after arriving to London was Rob, a curly-headed guy from southern England and my flat representative. I had been in my room for only about 20 minutes when he knocked and came in for a chat. His friendliness and enthusiasm made that first afternoon remarkably better, as travel-weary and already homesick as I was. The flat rep is supposed to be helpful, at least in the beginning. Rob was undoubtedly so, walking me around campus even though it was chilly and ...

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